What Going on a Date With Aeris Is Like in Japanese

By Tim Rogers on at

I’ve been playing Final Fantasy VII in Japanese and English at the same. I have been making videos chronicling my discovery of tiny differences between the scripts. This is the penultimate episode of my series.

In this episode, we’ll befriend a vampire, study rocket science, and be locked in an amusement park. At one point, I investigate a possible tenuous Star Wars reference. This episode is one hour and four minutes long and contains revelations and discoveries that will interest you if you are an extreme fan of Final Fantasy, linguistics, or (like me!) both.

Up until now, I have jokingly intoned at the start of each episode that “Any Japanese you learn during the course of this video series will possibly never be of any use whatsoever to you.”

Between the most recent episode in February and now, however, I’ve received dozens of emails from viewers telling me that they have either begun studying Japanese or taken a great interest in doing so because of these videos. Heck, multiple video game localisation professionals have emailed me to let me know they are enjoying this series. So maybe it’s more educational than I thought.

So in this episode, I’ve made more of a conscious effort to explore practical Japanese grammar. I tell you about how I began my own personal journey studying Japanese. I even talk about my own experience localising video games. All the while, I build an increasingly concrete mathematical case proving Aeris is Cloud’s true love—not Tifa!

There’s a lot in here. Maybe get a beverage and watch it on your TV. Heck, get a dinner.

I will retweet any photo in which you prove to me (I’m @108 on Twitter, by the way) that you’re watching this episode on your television while eating dinner.

Note: this series is not a “retranslation” or a criticism of the original translation. It is my opinion as a person who fluently speaks more than three languages that no such thing as a “perfect” translation can possibly exist between two languages. I’m happy to elaborate on this claim in 10,000 spoken words if you ever bump into me on the street. For now, I’ll summarise: my “suggestions” in this series aim solely to gift you, the viewer, with the experience of fluently understanding the work in its original language.